Messages from tourism officials in Hokkaido
Despite the earthquake in the Iburi region in southwestern Hokkaido, popular cities remains safe place to visit and open for business, including international gateway of New Chitose Airport. JNTO will continue to work closely with local areas in Hokkaido and our overseas trade partners. Here are some messages from tourism officials:
Sapporo Maruyama Zoo is one of Japan's most nature-oriented zoos, and in recent years has placed particular emphasis on recreating the animals' natural habitat as closely as possible, in order to allow them to act and live according as they would in the wild, making visitors feel closer to the animals.
Maruyama Zoo has been without elephants since the passing of Hanako the elephant at age 60 back in 2007, but on November 30, 2018, four Asian elephants from Myanmar arrived in Sapporo, and preparations for them to be shown to the public began.
Now, with the elephants used to their new environment and in good health, the elephant residence at Maruyama Zoo that was completed in September 2018 will be open to the public along with the elephants on March 12th, 2019!
The residence is a national institution of the highest caliber, equipped with many things to ensure the elephants can live happily and comfortably, including an indoor pool so they can play in the water even during winter. Along with being able to see the elephants up close, visitors to the residence can learn about the environmental problems that surround elephants. We invite both Sapporo residents and visitors to the city to come and deepen their understanding about these beautiful creatures.
The Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto may be famous, but did you know it exists in Sapporo, too?
Fushimi Inari in the current winter season is a striking contrast of red and white, though the shrine is beautiful all year round. Enjoy a spiritual visit by taking the crimson tori gate-lined path up the Shinto shrine itself, and ring the bell there before making a wish to the gods and pulling an omikuji fortune.
Sapporo Fushimi Inari Shrine is conveniently located in Sapporo's central downtown ward of Chuo-ku, making it an easy stop for experiencing traditional Japanese culture even on a day in the city.
From January 25th to February 24th, 2019, the Sapporo Touring Share Taxi will be in operation in Sapporo! Buy a one day pass online (\3,000 per person) and get on and off at any of the 16 designated taxi stands around the city as many times during the day as you like. The taxi stops at many of the most well-known spots in Sapporo such as the Mt. Moiwa Summit Observation Deck, Mt. Okura Ski Jump Stadium, and the Sapporo Beer Museum, as well as eight different hotels around the city, making it perfect for visitors looking to cover much of Sapporo in a day.
Hours of operation: 9:00 AM ? 5:00 PM Price: \3,000 per person (one-day pass)
【70th Sapporo Snow Festival Sculpture Plans Open to the Public!】
2019 marks the 70th year of the Sapporo Snow Festival, and this year's snow sculpture plans for the iconic event have been made available to the public at last!
Large-scale snow sculptures at the Snow Festival will include the grand Helsinki Cathedral in the HBC “Finland Plaza” at Odori Park 7-chome, specially created in commemoration of 100 years of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan, and a Star Wars sculpture in honor of the Episode 9 movie release in 2019.
Including other smaller snow sculptures and ice sculptures between three sites at Odori Park, Susukino, and the “Tsudome” community dome, 192 works will be on display at the festival. The Tsudome site also features family-friendly snow activities for all ages. We invite everybody to come celebrate the 70th anniversary of Sapporo's largest annual event together!
Winter in Sapporo means plenty of amazing snow activities and events! The 2019 Yukizanmai Jozankei Mountain Party will be running for two weekends from Fri. 1/11 to Mon. 1/14 and Fri. 1/18 to Sun. 1/20. Entry to the event is free, and pay to buy tokens to use in any number of winter activities happening inside, such as dog sledding, horseback riding, tube sledding down hills, and more! Outdoor BBQ and curry rice made from local ingredients are also available to eat at the venue. Lodging in nearby Jozankei hot spring town is recommended for optimal access to the event.
At the end of January is the Jozankei Onsen Yukitouro (Snow Candle Way) 2019. 2,000 candles are placed in the snow around Jozankei Shrine to create a magical atmosphere. Take your time strolling around the shrine grounds admiring the soft glow of the snow lanterns, or purchase a wax bowl of your own to write your own wish or dream on before lighting a flame inside and praying for its realization. It is said that if you can manage to bring the wish candle back into the snow without extinguishing the flame, your wish will come true. Entry to this peaceful winter event is free.
Yukizanmai Jozankei Mountain Party 2019 Dates: Friday 1/11 to Monday 1/14, Friday 1/18 to Sunday 1/20 (7 days total) Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Location: Hakkenzan Kajuen Fees: Entry is free of charge, tokens for activities are \300 per token (discount price of \2,500 for 12 tokens, along with a discount coupon for a one-day onsen visit in Jozankei)
Jozankei Onsen Yukitouro 2019
Dates: Wednesday Jan. 30th to Sunday Feb. 3rd, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Jozankei Shrine
Fees: Entry is free of charge, wax bowl for wish making is \500
Jozankei is one of Hokkaido's most prominent hot spring resorts. Located near Shikotsu-Toya National Park, one can experience the full beauty of the four seasons, with October's autumn foliage being especially famous. The area is popular for its many outdoor activities throughout the year, and boasts a wide range of accommodations, hot springs, and ease of access from the city center.
Following votes cast by 5,542 nightscape specialists across Japan, the newest results of the triennial (updated once every three years) “Three Major Night View Cities of Japan” selection has been revealed, with Hokkaido's Sapporo chosen as having the second most beautiful nightscape in the country.
You can take in Sapporo's breathtaking nightscape from spots all over the city. Go to Mount Moiwa, which stands at 531 meters above sea level, and gaze out at a view that has been likened to a sea of jewels. Admire Sapporo from the starting point of a ski-jump stadium at Okurayama's observatory deck, or appreciate Odori Park's nighttime scenery from the centrally located Sapporo TV Tower. The Sapporo White Illumination, said to be the origin of light events in Japan, is also a must see. Why not come and spend an evening admiring Sapporo's many stunning nightscapes?